After a long, courageous and extremely hard-fought battle against ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease), Douglas Larry Posorske, age 45, passed through the gates of Heaven on January 8, 2011. He died peacefully and pain-free at Mercy Medical Center in Oshkosh, with his family and an amazing number of close friends at his side.
Doug was born on December 9, 1965, the eldest child and only son of Larry and Karen Posorske of Berlin, Wisconsin. He married the love of his life, Margaret (Meg) Chier, on July 2, 1988, at St. Stanislaus Catholic Church in Berlin, and together they had three beautiful children, Adam (20), Alyx (18), and Tony (14). A man of strong faith, Doug never gave up and thanked God each and every day for his family - the center of his universe.
Throughout his life, Doug worked hard to use the gifts and talents that God gave him and gracefully faced the challenges that life presented. In high school, Doug was active in sports, music and drama. He wrestled until open heart surgery his sophomore year ended his career.
Failing to be discouraged, he turned to his musical talents. He enjoyed Swing Choir, starred in the annual school musicals, and entertained basketball fans with his polka skills during more than a few halftimes. Even though his heart condition ended his high school sports career, he remained a true sports fan until the very end. The Packers certainly were among his favorites (Sunday's playoff victory must have been beautiful from heaven), but the teams he most loved to watch were from St. John Neumann Middle School and Lourdes High School. In fact, only two weeks before he died, Doug was able to cheer in person for both Tony's eighth-grade basketball team and the Lourdes boys' basketball team, of which his nephews are a part.
An avid outdoorsman, Doug was gifted with a rifle and fishing rod. As a young boy, his favorite fishing and hunting companions were his Grandpa Willie and Dad. Doug was thrilled when his children, who inherited Doug's passion for the outdoors, could also join him, and he loved the time he could spend with them at the farm. His proudest and most memorable hunting success story was "Nixon," the 11-point buck he shot in October from 307 yards away during the 2010 Special Gun Deer Hunt, "Makin' Memories."
Doug's true passion, however, was his family. He was the best husband and father in the world, making sure that nothing interfered with his time with them. Rarely did he miss an event in which his children participated, and certainly there was no bigger fan of Adam, Alyx and Tony than Doug.
Doug graduated from Berlin High School in 1984 and went on to attend the University of Arkansas, Little Rock, where he graduated in 1991 with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering Technology. For the first five years after graduation, he worked for the Kendall Company in Green Bay, Wisconsin, where he was a Manufacturing Supervisor, Project Engineer, and then Maintenance Supervisor. From 1996-1999, he worked for Wisconsin Tissue, Menasha, Wisconsin, where he started as ASRS Maintenance Supervisor before becoming Project Engineer. In 1999, he joined Little Rapids Corp., Green Bay, Wisconsin, as its Senior Manufacturing Development Engineer. He worked until October 2009, when his physical weakness prevented further commutes.
However, with his mind as sharp as ever, Doug was determined to fight his ALS, and continue his life in spite of it. Until just a few weeks ago, he was still communicating with his colleagues and offering up "unofficial" advice via e-mail. Doug will certainly be remembered for his happy-go-lucky attitude, quick wit and beautiful smile. And, when people listen to country music, especially Ronnie Milsap, they will think of Doug.
What sets Doug apart from many others, and what everyone who knew Doug will remember forever, is his selfless love and concern for others. Not once did he complain about the ALS hand he was dealt. He faced his fate and daily challenges admirably and with grace. And, as an organ donor whose kidneys and liver were successfully transplanted within a day of his death, he gave the gift of life to three individuals. Doug is a hero and an inspiration to all whose paths he crossed.